During my career as a high school teacher, I directed more than fifty plays. Finding suitable scripts was not always easy – not only did we need plays with a reasonable number of characters and doable male/female balance, but we also wanted quality stories that were worthwhile and clean (I often had to alter scripts to get rid of language problems and other issues). While explicitly Christian plays are available, they tended too often to be sappy, sentimental, and overly didactic. I thus found that doing secular classics and equipping the audience to view them from a Christian perspective when I introduced them was the most helpful approach. I also wrote two scripts myself, both of which were adaptations of nineteenth-century classics. In writing these scripts, I tried to preserve as much as possible the beauty of the language of the authors rather than “dumbing it down” for a modern audience. These two plays are now available through Planters Press. Royalties are $50 per performance and are payable to the playwright.
Sense and Sensibility, like all Jane Austen novels, is a love story. She tells the tale of two sisters who are in many ways polar opposites, both of whom find true love where they never expected to find it. In the process, they learn much about not judging by appearances and the importance of communicating with those we care about. Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are delightful creations, and their eventual romantic partners, Edward Ferrars and Colonel Brandon, are upright men of great integrity.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins was the first of the so-called Sensation Novels. It is a melodrama filled with mystery and romance, heroes and heroines who demonstrate integrity and overcome adversity, and despicable villains who seek to destroy others for their own benefit. It was published at the same time and in the same magazine as Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” and the two novels share some remarkable traits, including lookalike characters and contrasting settings.